Jeffrey Hastings, former CEO of SAExploration Holdings, Inc., has been ordered by a federal court to pay disgorgement plus interest and prejudgment for his participation in a multiyear accounting fraud scheme. On April 21, 2023 the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York handed down a final judgement against Hastings, after allegations made by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to an amended complaint filed by the SEC, Hastings along with three other former SAE executives inflated the company’s revenues by around $100 million. They also embezzled many millions of dollars. The executives achieved this by falsifying revenue records from contracts for seismic data acquisition with an Alaskan firm controlled by Hastings, and his co-defendant Brent Whiteley. The Alaskan company could not pay but the executives created the illusion that payment had been made.
Hastings consented, without admitting to guilt, to the entry of an final judgment which permanently bars him from violating securities laws. He was also ordered to repay SAE $1.206.626 in addition to disgorgement, prejudgment interests, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
James Connor is supervising Nick Margida (lead attorney) and Yael Berker (lead attorney), who are still pursuing the SEC’s lawsuit against the other defendants. On December 17, 2020, the same court entered a final judgment of consent against SAE.
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The Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, is a U.S. Government agency that is responsible for overseeing and regulating the securities market. This includes stock markets and other exchanges. Its primary objective is to protect investors, maintain fair, efficient, and orderly markets.
The SEC enforces the federal securities laws, requiring companies that they disclose accurate and comprehensive information to the general public. Investors will have the information they need to make an informed decision. The agency also investigates individuals or entities that are involved in fraudulent or manipulational activities that harm investors and takes legal actions against them.
Additionally, it regulates securities professional, such as investment advisers and mutual fund managers to ensure they are operating in the best interests for their clients. The SEC oversees the self-regulation activities of organizations such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and stock exchanges.
The SEC has a crucial role to play in maintaining the integrity of the market and investor confidence. It encourages transparency, accountability, fair competition, and fairness in the securities sector, with the ultimate goal of creating a level playing ground for all market players.
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